MAX LEAKE: “Trios.” Corona Music.

Pianist Max Leake teams with fellow Pittsburghers Dwayne Dolphin, Paul Thompson, Greg Humphries and Thom Wendt for “Trios,” a 13-song collection ranging from Bud Powell’s “Crazeology” to Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.”

Hank Mobley’s “Funk in the Deep Freeze” and Thad Jones’ “Three and One” provide excellent insight into Leake’s aggressive, attacking style, while “Virgo,” a tune composed by Wayne Shorter, rings with fluency and drama.

Still, it is “Crazeology,” with its tone colors and dynamics, that elevates “Trios” to a higher plane.

The recording is a nice introduction into the music and ideas of Leake, who continues to be one of the most underrated pianists working on the local scene. Fewer songs and more thematic connections would have made it even better.

First published on August 8, 2004 at 12:00 a

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